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New Book Puts An End To Questions About The End

Why have so many gedolei Yisroel wanted to reveal the keitz – the end date when the final Redemption has to occur? Weren’t they concerned about the anguish and despair that would follow if Moshiach didn’t arrive by the calculated date? What criteria were used in calculating these dates? What is the absolutely last date given for Moshiach’s coming? * An exclusive interview with Rabbi Schneur Zalman Hertzel, author of the recently published HaKeitz, the book that puts an end to all these questions.

A new Hebrew-language book has just joined the ranks of the ever-growing number of works being written about Moshiach and Geula. In accordance with the Rebbe MH”M’s statement that studying these topics “is the straightest path for bringing the Geula,” our generation has merited to see an abundance of learning tools to help us fulfill the Rebbe’s directive. This latest offering, entitled HaKeitz, deals with a sensitive issue not usually covered in other volumes. This work explores the meaning of the keitz as elucidated in the Rebbe MH”M’s teachings and a variety of other Torah sources.

In celebration of its recent publication, Beis Moshiach presents this exclusive interview with the book’s editor, Rabbi Schneur Zalman Hertzel, who shares some of his thoughts on the subject.

Congratulations on the publication of your seifer.  How many s’farim have you previously published?

This is the fourth seifer, three of which focus on the subject of Moshiach and Geula. Aside from Peninei Geula and Nisu’ei HaNesiim, I also wrote Kahal Gadol Yashuvu Heina, which explores the connection between hakhel and the Redemption. That book, the brainchild of Rabbi Levi Yitzchak Stolik, was released towards the end of 5755, and was published by Beis Moshiach and the International Campaign to Bring Moshiach. But because it was published at the end of the hakhel year, it never received a lot of attention.

What motivated you to write a book about end dates?

We all heard the Rebbe tell us that [as the Gemara says] “all the end dates have passed.” In fact, the Rebbe emphasized that all the end dates had already passed in the times of the Gemara – how much more so in our times, hundreds of years later! There are also many end dates cited by gedolei Yisroel over the generations, such as the Rambam and the Alter Rebbe.

Whenever I heard these statements it always raised a question that bothered me: If the Talmud had already paskened that all the end dates had passed, where did the later end dates come from? Didn’t the fact that there were later ones prove that not all of them had passed, but only some? And if the explanation is that these subsequent dates were a different type or in a different category, what did that mean?

Being curious, I started researching the subject. Not only did I find the answers to my questions, but I discovered an entire body of information that not many people are aware of. HaKeitz is the product of that research.

For whom is the book intended?

HaKeitz was written for anyone who wants to fulfill the Rebbe’s directive to learn more about Moshiach and Geula.

The book is written in a very readable style, to make even the deepest concepts accessible to the general public. Certain sections are a little more complicated, but they don’t interrupt the overall flow. Most of the more scholarly material appears in the footnotes.

How appropriate is this book for mivtzaim or a Chabad House?

This book is one hundred percent appropriate to give out on mivtzaim or to show anyone who walks into a Chabad House. I would tell someone without a yeshiva background to read it, and if they find something they don’t understand, they should skip it and go on to the next chapter. This is one way the person will learn about Moshiach and Geula, and acquire a much deeper knowledge about the concept of the keitz. Reading the book also creates an intense longing for the Redemption, as it describes how close we are to it.

Tell us about the book itself.

HaKeitz is divided into four sections: The first section contains sources in Tanach and Mefarshim concerning the end of the exile. There’s also a special section with quotes from the Rebbeim on this subject.

The second section is presented in a table format, with all the end dates arranged chronologically going back to the times of the Gemara. It starts with the keitz mentioned by Rabbi Akiva in Tractate Sanhedrin, goes on to the various dates mentioned in the Zohar, and continues all the way up to the kitzin cited by the Rebbeim. Listed next to every date is historical material about that particular generation, and an explanation of how the date was calculated. It also includes historical events that occurred in those years.

The third section is the main body of the book, which elucidates the fundamental concept of the keitz. But like everything else in Torah, it touches on a lot of other subjects, too.

The fourth section contains piyutim [liturgical poems] and quotes from davening about the keitz, such as those by Rabbi Yehuda HaLevi and R’ Shlomo Ibn Gabirol.

Tell us something you discovered in the course of your research.

I found out what happened in the end date mentioned in the Abarbanel’s seifer, Maayanei HaYeshua. But first a little background information: At the end of chapter five in the third section of HaKeitz (and also in the introduction to the second section), various events are cited that happened throughout Jewish history during each of these end date years. Some of these events were terrible, such as the pogroms of Tav-Ches and Tav-Tes, which the Zohar describes as end dates. Yet some of them were positive developments, such as the printing of the Alter Rebbe’s Likkutei Torah in Tav-Reish-Ches, which is a foretaste of the p’nimiyus ha’Torah that Moshiach will reveal.

In the year cited by the Abarbanel, Reish-Tzaddik-Dalet, the Arizal was born, which initiated a whole new stage in the revelation of p’nimiyus ha’torah. As the Arizal said, “In these last generations, not only is it permissible, but it is a mitzva to reveal this wisdom.”

Another interesting point: We are now in the year Tav-Shin-Samech, which has long been cited as a special date in connection with the Geula. In the seifer Keitz HaPlaot I found an interesting quote from the Mikdash Melech about the association between all “sixtieth years” and the Redemption: “If the Jewish people had had sufficient merit they would have been redeemed in the first sixty years of the sixth millennium, and likewise, in each later sixtieth year…for the Redeemer is awakened in every year ending with a Samech.” He also states that “All the redemptions are alluded to in the letter Samech.”

I unearthed a lot of fascinating information, but it would take too long to discuss all those points.

Does the book include any stories?

In the beginning I thought I’d devote a whole section to stories about the keitz, like the famous one about the Arizal who invited his disciples to go up to Yerushalayim one Erev Shabbos. Because they didn’t obey him immediately, the auspicious moment for bringing the Geula was lost. There’s also a story about the Chozeh of Lublin. Although I didn’t include an entire section, the book mentions many of them, such as the keitz of Tav-Reish-Samech-Vav, when the elder Chassidim declared that the Hemshech of Yom Tov Shel Rosh HaShana Tav-Reish-Samech-Vav [of the Rebbe Rashab] contains the revelations of the light of Moshiach; the pogroms that occurred in Russia at that time; the burning of the seifer Torah in Tav-Kuf-Yud-Ches; the Holy Jew who heard the shofar being blown by Moshiach in the worlds of Atzilus, Briya, and Yetzira, and many more.

What is the difference between the end dates given by gedolei Yisroel over the ages, many of whom promised that Moshiach would come in their time, and the declaration of the Rebbe shlita that the Geula will happen in our generation. Why should we not say that the Rebbe, like everyone else before him, tried to bring the Geula, but we simply weren’t worthy?

This is one of the essential points of the seifer. A short answer is imprecise and incomplete, and should be followed up by reading the book to thoroughly understand the concepts.

Gedolim throughout the ages have calculated end dates, but the Rebbe shlita never calculated an end date! The Rebbe remarked concerning what various s’farim say about certain years, such as 5742, but he never encouraged the calculation of kitzin in the conventional sense.

Unlike all other gedolim who preceded him, the Rebbe actually drew the Geula down into the physical world when he prophesized about it. At the moment of uttering the prophecy, the different stages of the Geula began to materialize. This is only one difference between the Rebbe’s declaration of certain Redemption in our generation and the words of our Sages over the millennia.

When is the absolutely last possible keitz?

It already passed.

What is the significance of that answer?

The Rebbe said on Shabbos Parshas Vayakhel-Pekudei 5747, “All of the end dates, including the final end date revealed by the Nasi of our generation, my father-in-law, the Rebbe, in his famous declaration of ‘l’alter l’Geula [immediately to the Redemption],’ have already elapsed.” On Purim 5747, the Rebbe said, “The keitz that was said by my father-in-law, the Nasi of our generation, has already passed, and no one now has the ability to calculate end dates. Furthermore, there is no longer a need to calculate end dates.”

To sum up…

I would like to thank everyone who helped with the editing of the book, especially R’ Shimon Vitzhandler, who spent countless hours proofreading the text, and R’ Zev Cadaner, for printing it so quickly.

HaKeitz explains the main innovation of the Rebbe’s prophecy of Geula in our generation. If you need a book in plain language to give to people you meet on mivtzaim, this is the one.

To conclude, as the Rebbe said on Purim 5747, “Genug cheshbonos – enough with calculating end dates.” What is most important is that the Geula should occur without delay!

For bulk orders of HaKeitz at a special reduced price, call (718) 756-8842.


If the Talmud had already paskened that all the end dates had passed, where did the later end dates come from? Didn’t the fact that there were later ones prove that not all of them had passed, but only some?





Unlike all other gedolim who preceded him, the Rebbe actually drew the Geula down into the physical world when he prophesized about it.


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